Last year, the Chancellor announced that a new body would be set up to look at the UK's national infrastructure requirements and work out "calmly and dispassionately what the country needs to build for its future". In March, the commission published three additional reports commissioned by the chancellor. One considered transport infrastructure issues in northern England, another examined London's transport infrastructure, and the third looked at energy infrastructure.
Planning magazine brought together experts, including Mike Kiely the Chair of the POS Board, at a round table in London, sponsored by Burges Salmon and RPS Group, to consider which of the three reports' recommendations are most likely to be acted upon in the short to medium-term, and which have big implications for planning.
In relation to the commission's report on transport infrastructure needs in the north of England Mike Kiely said that local authorities "would be mad not to seize the opportunity and drive the debate, because the location of the station is absolutely critical".
The second NIC report looked at the strategic case for additional large-scale transport infrastructure in the capital. . Kiely believed that the system has been set up to facilitate that as planned infrastructure schemes progress towards implementation, certainty increases, land value rises and speculation by developers intensifies. "We haven't got the right tools and the system is set up to work ... in the interest of the landowners, so that they can speculate and make money," he said. "(This) is fine in the short term, but in the long term UK plc does not benefit."